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I’ve told our friends about our wonderful experiences

“I’ve told many friends about our wonderful experiences during the pilgrimage.  You’ve given Mary Beth and me a wonderful gift, which we’ll cherish for the rest of our lives.”
Reviewed November 26, 2016

Thank you for your generosity and for putting this trip together

Thank you for your generosity and for putting this trip together.  We are enjoying all the pictures you took as well as our own as you have pictures of places that we didn’t see, etc.  It took a little longer than usual to get over our jet lag but I believe it has now passed.  Anastasia is definitely a good traveller  so nice to have had  her and Natalie along.  We appreciate the wonderful group that we travelled with to Rome with.  They were all so delightful to be with…one big family.  The Holy Spirit was definitely with us.  Father Donnelly was wonderful to travel with.  We enjoyed singing along with him at morning and evening prayer as well as at Mass.  Our trip to Assisi and climbing the Holy Stairs was a highlight for me though as we look back on all that we did we found that every day.  Was wonderful.   We have some very delightful memories of our time away.  So many events…so many happy memories.”
Reviewed November 17, 2016

I had goose bumps

I had goose bumps from the time I was in the Vatican until I got on the plane!”
Reviewed November 16, 2016

We had such a good time

Hi John and Natalie, we had such a good time with the two you. Hope you are over the jet lag.  We would like to know more about this next trip!  Could you please call us about it?”
Reviewed November 15, 2016

We had such a wonderful time

We are home safe and sound, wishing we were back in  Rome already.  We had such a wonderful time!  Thank you again for everything.  I don’t think it would have been the same with any other tour group.”
-Mary Beth
Reviewed November 14, 2016

It was a wonderful experience

Thank you for the great leadership on the pilgrimage.  It was a wonderful experience.  Making friendships that will last a lifetime.”
Reviewed November 14, 2016

It is quite a Blessing for all of us

I just want to thank you for guiding us on our Pilgrimage.  It is quite a Blessing for all of us.  P.S. Everything on our Pilgrimage was a “Hi Light”.”
Reviewed November 10, 2016

A great experience

“Thank you so much! The Our Lady of Guadalupe pilgrimage was really a great experience. I really enjoyed being with the group.  I think my mother who passed away 2 years ago and my dad who passed away 4 years ago are very happy now. Many thanks for the opportunity to visit the Our Lady of Guadalupe shrine along with the solemn Latin Masses. My mother was a devotee of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her last and only wish from me was to pray for her. I thought that joining the pilgrimage is one way of fulfilling her last wish.  Thanks so much again for the very wonderful experience!


                                                            Reviewed March 22, 2016

A grace-filled time for me

This pilgrimage was really a grace-filled time for me.  Your careful planning made everything flow smoothly.  Your attention and proper instructions kept us safe at all times.  Daily Mass with Father Masutti was such a gift.  I liked visiting the different beautiful churches.  Revisiting the Shrine of Our Lady was a joy because it really did help to remember it better and to see what one might have missed the first time.  Being in the city of Puebla was quite special with its beautiful Spanish-inspired buildings.  And Lunch in that fine restaurant was very much enjoyed.  The presentation of all the different uses of the guava plant impressed me.  It taught me to look deeper into other cultures’ ways of using available natural things.  Even though I did not climb the pyramids, just walking around the grounds was quite interesting.  I am glad we visited there.  And then, of course, I appreciated your super-gentlemanly help at the airport at arrival and departure.  Thank you so very much.  If the timing is right for one of your next excursions, I will be happy to be part of it.”


                                                            Reviewed March 19, 2016

You were the perfect guide

Thank you so much for leading this group to visit Our Lady of Guadalupe!  Being my first time ‘officially’ out of the country, you were the perfect guide.  Calm, experienced, patient and knowledgable.  The entire trip was the experience I was hoping for.  I only wish that I had kept a journal to make notes of each church we visited.  Looking at the pictures, they became a blur and it was hard to identify each one.  If I am to go on a pilgrimage again, I would certainly choose you and I will highly recommend you to any friends.  Thank your wife and daughter also, for letting you travel so much!  You are a blessing to them, and to all who travel with you!


                                                            Reviewed March 18, 2016

The trip there was unforgettable

The highlights for both of us were the Shrine, and the museum of St. Miguel Pro.  The Shrine has been on our ‘bucket list’ for many years, and the trip there was unforgettable.  We were really pleased that you made time for a second visit.  Our faith was deepened by learning about, and seeing, the miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Also, we really appreciated the excellent commentary of Carla, our guide in the Miguel Pro museum.  It was wonderful to have Fr. Masutti with us to translate, but even without this, it was moving to witness Carla’s passion and devotion.”


                                                            Reviewed March 15, 2016

Prayer-filled attitudes

Thanks for you kind words and warm wishes, John.  I hope your trip home was smooth and that you are now relaxing with your family.  Despite the rain, there are many positives about Cuba. The most important for us is that we were able to meet and spend time with so many wonderful Catholic people.  This is so unusual for us and we relished all the discussions and prayer-filled attitudes.  We also appreciated the chance to learn more about Cuba – its history and its people.  We likely would not have done this without being there, so are enriched by the experience.  The trip to Havana was very interesting in so many ways, so thanks for this.  I am just sorry that I had a cold and was not feeling very energetic for the week as we missed the opportunity to tour the island a bit more.  However, it has opened our minds for travel in the future.  Thanks to you for taking good care of us.”


                                                            Reviewed January 17, 2016


A first for our students

Traditional Learning Academy’s high school Spring Pilgrimage tour of France and Italy was the first of its kind with Orbis Catholicus.  Two weeks visiting, and actually living in, some of the most prominent Catholic shrines and apparition sites in Europe was a first for our students.  Beginning with solemn high Mass at the Notre Dame de Paris, we joined the 20,000-strong, three-day walking pilgrimage making our way through Paris and the surrounding countryside ending at the Notre Dame de Chartres.  We stayed (and worked!) at the Abbaye de Notre Dame de Fontgombault, visited the incorrupt body of St. Bernadette in Nevers, climbed the Alps surrounding La Salette, spent a complete day in the picturesque village of Ars while visiting the Cure, swam in an alpine lake, explored the cathedrals of Lyon, toured Chambery in the Haute Savoie, and ended with a viewing of the Shroud of Turin.  When students were asked what their favourite part of the trip was, they replied, “We can’t decide.  It was all so wonderful.”  John and Natalie provided a wealth of information, fine organization, a flexible structure to the tour, and a sense of humour to make the experience one to remember.”


Reviewed October 6, 2015

A real spiritual journey

“OC-Travel went above and beyond on this trip.  From the development of a custom itinerary for our group before we left, to making generous adaptations to the schedule as the trip played out, OC-Travel truly made our experience special. OC-Travel’s choice of accommodations were spectacular on our trip to Rome.  The convent we stayed at was wonderful, clean and modern, but the chapel (a full blown church really) and the courtyard for my morning walks and prayers, were the really essential features that made this much more of a pilgrimage than just another tour.  Thank you, John and OC-Travel for making this trip a real spiritual journey!”


Reviewed September 16, 2015

I was so proud to be part of that group

“John, thank you for being not just our tour guide, but our friend.  You were superb, ready to handle each of our needs (and we had many).  The highlight for me was hearing our name being called at the audience with the Pope.  I was so proud to be part of that group.  How you had arranged all those marvelous details, I have no idea, but glad you did.  Another highlight was mass the morning of 9/11.  If I close my eyes, I can still hear my friends sing in the most wonderful church in the world.”


Reviewed September 16, 2015

I think of Rome everyday

“Thanks a million for the wonderful keepsake pictures, I think of Rome everyday!  I sure did enjoy the trip even if it was hot for me, I’d do it again, if I ever got the chance!!  I am hoping to take another kind of trip with you in the near future.  I will mail Kim her pictures, she made me a beautiful album of our trip and I added yours to it!!  I am very grateful for all of it.  Take care and God bless and peace always!!”


Reviewed September 3, 2015

The local tour guide was so informative

“My friends have gone for 4 days and were satisfied but we left wanting to return. There are many Catholic sites. The local tour guide was so informative. We visited several towns with beautiful churches I know my friends didn’t visit.  When we were  preparing to travel, I told my children and grandchildren I was going to see my heavenly Mother and I had many things to ask her about.  Our Lady spoke an inner locution to me the last day we were at her Shrine.  She said  ‘Stop  petitioning me, I have it covered, start thanking me.’  I had a serious shoulder injury from last March. I fell over a vacuum!  The Doctor said it would be a long painful recovery. I recently noticed my shoulder hasn’t been painful since we returned. It was not one of the requests I had made of her!”


Reviewed August 4, 2015

Your guidance made it a memorable trip

My sister and I spoke last week and intended to send you a thank you note.  You reached us first and so on behalf of both of us I wish to express our sincere appreciation and gratitude to you for your flexibility, for sharing your extensive knowledge and for your willingness to answer our many, many questions be it theological, historical or cultural.  Your guidance made it a memorable trip.  We both agree we had a great trip and have been telling people we had a private tour (with our small number it was essentially that).  We have told people who have visited Rome on several occasions many things they did not know: for instance that you can drink the water at public fountains, all about San Clemente, and of course our blessing of seeing St Peter’s tomb and that of all the popes underneath the Basilica.  And what to say of our excursions to Santa Marinella and Norcia/Cascia.  Great added bonus.  If you have an e-mail distribution list for your upcoming tours, I would like to be added to it.  Meanwhile I am pleased to share with family and friends my experiences with OC Travel and refer them to your web site.

– Jocelyn

Reviewed August 2, 2015

 The best trip I have ever experienced

The Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe was an experience beyond my expectations.  I feel so blessed to have seen the tilma.  Mass at the shrine in the presence of the tilma is so uplifting.  I have visited churches in Rome but the chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary is the most beautiful chapel I have ever seen.  This is the best trip I have ever experienced.  Thank you, John.”


Reviewed August 1, 2015

 The music was exquisite

“As I just returned from a pilgrimage to Rome a few weeks ago I thought I would share with you a few highlights.  The obvious biggest highlight was the opportunity afforded me to concelebrate the Solemn Mass with Pope Francis, on the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.  The music was exquisite, being dominantly  Gregorian Chant.  The Credo was sung in polyphony from one of the best known compositions of Palestrina, the Missa Papae Marcelli.  Trumphets and trombones resonated throughout St. Peter’s Basilica, too, to the accompaniment of the immense pipe organ that was installed during the pontificates of two popes.  That evening it was a great blessing to attend Vespers (liturgical evening prayer) at St. Peter’s Basilica.  The psalms were sung in Gregorian Chant, the Magnificat was a magnificent composition for orchestra and organ, during which the altar was incensed, and a procession took place to the tomb of St. Peter for the incensation of his mortal remains.  The Vesper hymn, O Roma Felix (O Happy Rome) resounded in all its glory reminding us all of the multifarious blessings bestowed upon the Roman Church down through the centuries.  Another highlight of this trip was the celebration of Mass in the city of Norcia at the birth place of St. Benedict, at the Basilica dedicated to him.  We remembered to pray for all our Benedictine friends.  In addition we had Mass at the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome and visited the Shrine of St. Rita at Cascia.  At every Mass I made a point of praying above all for the spiritual well-being of our parish!”

-Fr. William

Reviewed July 26, 2015

Sublime and filled with many spiritual graces

I hope your return trip was smooth and I’m sure you are very happy to be back with Natalie and Anastasia (as wonderful as Rome was!).  Thank you for being such a wonderful friend and leader during our pilgrimage.  My first time in Rome and Italy was sublime and filled with many spiritual graces.


Reviewed September 26, 2014

Great mix of planned activities and free time

The recent trip to Rome and the Amalfi coast with Orbis Catholicus Travel was an incredible experience. It was great to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. It was truly a blessing to have this opportunity to share and grow together, united in our Catholic faith.  John Sonnen, of Orbis Catholicus Travel, is an excellent tour guide  whose in depth knowledge of Italy and the Vatican and his connections provided a strong foundation for the tour. There was a great mix of planned activities and free time to explore on your own.  Some highlights of our tour included: mass in the crypt (right next to the tomb of St. Peter), mass at the tomb of St. John Paul II, papal audience with Pope Francis, tours of Christian Rome, Ancient Rome, and the Vatican museum, an exclusive tour of the Swiss Guard barracks, being in Naples on the feast of St. Januarius for the miracle when the relic of his blood liquifies, beach day in Amalfi, shopping on the Island of Capri, and so much more!  Most importantly, I feel very blessed to have shared this time with the other members of the tour group, their examples as strong witnesses to our Catholic faith and the experiences we shared on the tour have strengthened and inspired me; as a result, I have returned home with renewed faith and energy to continue to strive to follow Christ and build up the Kingdom of God!”


Reviewed September 28, 2014

So enjoyed the camaraderie of the group

“The Amalfi and Rome 2014 tour was very informative and indeed great fun.  I know that I had reservations about staying in a monastery but it turned out to be perfect even though the Italians do not know how to do breakfast! I so enjoyed the camaraderie of the group and the opportunity to travel with my son.  Given the opportunity and finances I would certainly do another tour with OC-Travel.”


Reviewed September 30, 2014

A five star experience!

“My recent trip to the Amalfi Coast and Rome, Italy with Orbis Catholicus Travel was a five star experience!  Each aspect of the journey was thoroughly enjoyable; from the stunning scenery, warm hospitality, comfortable accommodations, interesting history, and enriching spiritual encounters. One of my favorite moments from the trip was visiting St. Paul’s Outside the Walls with time to pray in front of St. Paul’s tomb. John Sonnen from OC-Travel was an excellent and knowledgeable tour guide; I hope to join another trip with OC-Travel in the future!”


Reviewed September 30, 2014

Spiritually uplifting

“Visiting Rome is spiritually uplifting. It made me more aware that the Catholic Church is a grand and powerful institution that has a vibrant history.”


Reviewed October 6th, 2014 (BC Catholic)

Experiences that went beyond expectations

“This tour was great.  John was an excellent guide as well as the other guides he arranged for us on the tour.  I never had a tour guide that was so professional and helpful.  John provided us with personal touches and experiences that went beyond expectations.  I thank OC-Travel for one of the best experiences and we would definitely recommend you to others.  Our group was amazing and everyone on the tour enjoyed the experience.  Thanks for a lovely time.”


Reviewed October 13, 2014

Knowledge of the subject of our tour was amazing

“John, your personal attention to all of our needs and your knowledge of the subject of our tour was amazing. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip.”


Reviewed November 7, 2014

Guides were world-class

“The group of people were the best I’ve ever traveled with (very classy people), and I was really impressed by the knowledgeability of our guides, especially our guides at the Catacomb of Priscilla and the Forum/Colosseum. They were world-class.”


Reviewed November 7, 2014

Feel so blessed

“Thank you all.  It is so nice to get these wonderful pictures, and great to hear from all of you. I feel so blessed to have been on the Pilgrimage with such a great group. Thank you again.”


Reviewed November 8, 2015

Friends for life

“You were (and are) awesome. And, we had a tremendous group of Pilgrims; some of which will be friends for life.  Please let us know if ever you are in Madison or the surrounding area.  It would be great to see you again.”


Reviewed November 8, 2014

Rome was a great blessing for us

“The trip to Rome was a great blessing for us, as was our association with each of you which we enjoyed immensely. Thanks to all of you who have forwarded photos. We continue to enjoy them.”


Reviewed January 9, 2015

The great effect it has on me

“I am writing to share with you how wonderful it is this Lent, in reading my EF missal commentary most days, whether I make it to Mass or not, and also listen to the LentcaZts as well, to appreciate the Stational Churches! Three this week are: S. Clemente, S. Cecilia, and today is even S. Maria in Trastevere! I have wonderful memories, and even pictures, from being at all of these churches myself now. You made this possible, and I can’t help but write and tell you the great effect it has on me.”


Reviewed March 5, 2015

As seen on TripAdvisor

Informative & Entertaining

“John Sonnen’s Art History background brought a unique interpretation to the art that amazed us. Especially like that the size of the group was not too large.”

Reviewed 10 July 2010

Our tour guide, John, was outstanding!

“John gave us a fantastic 4 hour tour of the Vatican. He was exceptionally knowledgeable and personable. He touched us with his explanation of paintings, sculptures, and history of churches, St. Peter’s, Sistene Chapel, and museum art.
We recommended John to several people we met on their way to Rome.
My group was 3 retired couples from USA who were pastors and wives.
Loved it!

Reviewed 19 June 2010

Great Tour

John gave us a great tour of the Vatican. He was not only knowledgeable, but devoutly passionate about everything, too.”

Reviewed 24 June 2010

A Wonderful Tour

Our guide, John, was unbelievably knowledgeable about artwork and Italian culture. When the tour ended (a half-hour later than the specified time-he gave us more time for the same price), no one wanted to leave! Truly exceptional.”

Reviewed 12 January 2010

The Spectacular Vatican Tour

John, who was our guide was THE best tour guide I have ever come across. His in depth knowledge, approach, enthusiasm and passion was absolutely amazing. He’s the type of teacher you want at school to draw you in with the subject you take. He gave us really good restaurant recommendations too. Just the places we were looking for to complete the vacation with full satisfaction.”

Reviewed 29 November 2009

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